Tim Scott praises Reagan firing strikers when asked about historic auto walkout
- "I think Ronald Reagan gave us a great example when federal employees decided they were going to strike," Scott said Monday in Iowa during a campaign event.
- "He said, you strike, you're fired. Simple concept to me to the extent that we can use that once again."
Flashback: In 1981, Reagan fired over 11,000 air traffic controllers who went on strike. Those were federal employees, whom the president has the power to fire.
Catch up quick: Thousands of UAW workers went on strike beginning this past week in Missouri, Ohio and Michigan.
- This is the first time in history the UAW is targeting General Motors, Ford and Stellantis all at once.
- Among the UAW's demands are higher wages, better benefits and certain protections regarding automakers shifting to electric vehicles.
Of note: Federal law, according to the National Labor Relations Board, prohibits workers from being fired for "participating in a protected strike or picketing against" one's employer, though not all strikes are protected.
What they're saying: Scott's campaign said his comments dealt entirely with federal workers rather than the UAW strike. The UAW comprises non-federal workers.
- "Senator Scott has repeatedly made clear that Joe Biden shouldn't leave taxpayers on the hook for any labor deal," Matt Gorman, a campaign spokesperson for Scott, told Axios.
Scott criticized President Biden, who has dubbed himself as the "most pro-union president ever."
- "I'm not sure if the words are bought and paid for, but certainly [Biden] has been leased by the unions," Scott said.
- Biden last Friday urged U.S. automakers to share more of their "record profits" with striking union workers.
- 71% of Americans approved of labor unions in 2022, the highest mark recorded by Gallup since 1965.
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